As I write this on Sunday May 15, 2016, Donald Trump has sewn up the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Despite his whirlwind success and support from conservatives and some independents, his arrogance, meanness and unwillingness to give serious answers to substantive issues have evoked criticism from nearly every quarter. That well-founded criticism made it easy to indulge my bias that he is likely to lose in November, until I examined his sidereal solar return. To my surprise and dismay he has what looks, from the point of view of astrological symbolism, like a winning hand.
A brief review of the most basic elements of his natal horoscope is revealing, shown here in terms of the sidereal zodiac (see figure 1). Trump is a virtual clinic on the power of the fixed signs, the strongest of the four qualities. He has the Sun in Taurus conjoined to Uranus, both closely opposite the Moon in her fall in Scorpio. Leo rises with Regulus, the alpha (brightest) star in Leo. Regulus appeared on the New York horizon in the east less than five and a half minutes before he was born. (F1)
Trump's Sun is in Taurus, the exaltation sign of the Moon. Taureans and Cancerians are often attracted to real estate—Trump’s specialty, handed to him by his father—because land and buildings are such good and mostly safe investments. The Sun and Uranus together, other things not considered, is a splendid combination because it confers a dynamic, usually successful and independent nature that hurdles or deflects obstacles to produce new realities. It means that he is headstrong, willful, doesn’t observe rules or limitations and is therefore a force unto himself. He was born at the full Moon and shows the classic tendency of Sun opposite Moon to be self-absorbed to a remarkable degree. When Leo rises in a full Moon birth, the native is likely to take self-absorption to a higher level and may be so profoundly and excessively egocentric as to constitute a textbook example. Trump talks mainly about himself. When not engaged in self-praise and promotion ad nauseam, he espouses ideas that are grossly over-simplified, if not wholly without merit, or wildly impractical. Worse, he shows why the Moon is in her fall in Scorpio. Scorpio is at best, blunt, direct and forceful, but when it operates as the fall of the sweet, gentle Moon, it is often mean, occasionally a bully, a clod, i.e. coarse and vulgar, a boor, or all of those things. Mars, which rose in Leo 18m 53s before his 10:54 a.m. EDT birth time is his only angular planet. Leo rising desperately wants power, rank and respect and its natives think they are born to lead whether they have leadership ability or not. Mars rising in Leo is a “take no prisoners” placement that will stop at nothing to get what it wants. In short, Donald Trump is ruthless. The manner in which he dispatched his rivals for the Republican nomination is proof of that. His business history also constitutes proof of his unrestrained ambition that leaves damage in its wake: he has declared bankruptcy four times. The pièce de resistance of his unbridled hubris, however is Regulus, because it makes him lucky beyond his ability, yet convinced of his superiority. Unfortunately, I think he will be elected and that his administration will be a debacle for the reasons that I will cite, but in the near term, his symbolism is remarkably good.
Donald Trump’s next sidereal solar return (F2) begins at 9:23:31 a.m. EDT on June 14, 2016 reckoned for his home in New York city (see figure 2). The best thing about this chart is that the solar return Moon in 23° Virgo 16' conjoins Trump’s natal Jupiter in 23° Virgo 28'. The Sun at 28° Taurus 56' is conjoined to solar return Venus at 1° Gemini 02'. Solar return Uranus at 28° Pisces 44' is sextile both the natal Sun and solar return Venus. All of that is wonderful and typical symbolism for someone who is flying high in one of their best years. Generally, however, most nominees have good symbolism in an election year. What counts are the transits in play on election day, November 8, 2016.
The television networks are not allowed to project a winner on the air until the polls close at 8:00 p.m. in the Pacific time zone, which is 11:00 p.m. EST. At that moment on November 8, 2016 the transiting Moon at 8° Aquarius 32' will throw a sesquiquadrate to Trump’s natal Jupiter only four minutes of arc past the exact to the minute contact; transiting Venus at 1° Sagittarius 24' will be opposite Trump’s solar return Venus at 1° Gemini 02'; and transiting Jupiter at 17° Virgo 51' will be only seven minutes of arc short of an exact to the minute sextile to Trump’s solar return ascendant set up for New York where he is likely to be. Obviously those are excellent transits especially for one engaged in a contested endeavor at the time that it’s decided.
Trump’s quarter solar return (see figure 3) that covers the election begins on September 16, 2016 at 4:44:14 a.m. EDT at New York. The angles of that horoscope directed at the progressed sidereal solar return rate to election night at 11:00 p.m. EST, with the right ascension of the Mean Sun as argument, bring the ascendant to Trump’s natal Jupiter in mundo three quarters of a degree from exact. Bringing natal Jupiter to the Quarti-Solar Return ascendant also drags along the planets connected with it, namely the Quarter Solar Venus in 26° Virgo 10' that is conjoined to natal Jupiter as well as the Quarter Solar Moon at 23° Aquarius 06' that is quincunx his natal Jupiter in 23° Virgo 28'. That obviously strengthens the significance of having natal Jupiter rise in this chart on election night by the P.S.S.R. rate. Trump’s converse solar return for 2016 set up for Washington D.C.—the object of the exercise—has 17° Taurus 12' in the mid-heaven. Transiting Jupiter at 11:00 pm EST on election night at 17° Virgo 51' is trine that mid-heaven less than two thirds of a degree beyond exact. His lunar returns are also extremely good.This is even more extraordinary and auspicious symbolism for a candidate on election day.
Since Hillary Clinton’s birth time is unconfirmed, I can’t compare her election day situation to Trump’s with much specificity except to say that he has a very solid full house hand and she needs a royal flush to beat it. For her morning time of approximately 8:00 am, used by many astrologers, she does not hold cards that can beat Trump.
There is another thing that is equally worrisome from my point of view as a liberal Democrat: Trump’s secondary progressed Moon is conjoined to his natal Venus exact to the minute on January 20, 2017, which is inauguration day. While it is not a guarantee, it is easy to infer that such a contact relates to a level of success that will almost surely be the high point of his life.
The Chart of the Presidency
Forget for a moment that Trump’s constantly waffling positions and mostly bizarre policies—when he can stop talking about himself—appear for all the world, except his uncritical supporters, to be a lot of hot air. That the world may well puncture his balloon can be appreciated at a glance by comparing Mr. Trump’s horoscope to George Washington’s First Inauguration on April 30, 1789. This is really the horoscope for the office of the presidency itself because there was no president, acting or otherwise, until Washington swore to uphold the constitution of the United States “around 1:00 p.m.” according to unnamed sources at Federal Hall in lower Manhattan, New York.
One o’clock p.m. tallies fairly well with the diary of William MacClay, senator from Pennsylvania, and apparently a punctilious man, who was an eye witness to the inauguration. MacClay wrote that the Senate convened at 11:30 a.m. and its members waited an hour and ten minutes for Washington to arrive. That is, according to MacClay, Washington entered Federal Hall at 12:40 p.m. local apparent time. MacClay noted that Washington was escorted into the Senate chamber and introduced to the House of Representatives and the Senate and then after a prolonged and awkward silence—because John Adams, the vice president, couldn’t remember what he had intended to say— Washington was quickly whisked outside onto the balcony of Federal Hall overlooking Wall Street. Robert Livingston, the chancellor of New York and the highest ranking judge within the city, administered the oath of office to Washington, whose right hand rested on a bible from a local Masonic lodge, in view of thousands of delirious New Yorkers. Then everybody went back inside and Washington gave his short inaugural address to Congress, not to the general public as it is done now. MacClay emphasized the speed with which the entire ceremony took place from Washington’s arrival to the completion of the oath. It is entirely reasonable to conclude that it actually took place only ten minutes after Washington entered Federal Hall because there was little exchange between Adams and Washington, so a horoscope for 12:50 p.m. LAT, (F3) while it is speculative (see figure 4), it is reasonable considering MacClay’s observations as well as being “around 1:00 p.m.”
The consequences though may be enormous for us (Americans) because the Sun of Washington’s First Inauguration is in the exaltation degree (F4) of the Sun (19° Aries). What that means is that the American presidency even though the U.S. was far from a great power in 1789, had the potential to become the most powerful executive position on the planet. A careful, conscientious and experienced hand, especially one trained in the law with at least some political expertise, is wanted for a position of such extreme gravity. Trump has nothing of the sort; rather, he is essentially an opportunist and hyper aggressive salesman whose stock in trade is running over people. In other words he is grossly unqualified for the office and lacks the essential preparation, experience, temperament and especially the gravitas to properly discharge the responsibilities of the office of the President of the United States.
In this chart, one’s attention goes first to the angles. Washington’s First Inauguration angles are nearly Trump’s natal angles and Washington’s Inauguration Moon is closely square Trump’s natal Jupiter. Both of those are quite remarkable and very helpful to one who aspires to the presidency because it looks like Trump’s natal symbolism is closely connected to the office. What is more, Trump’s natal Venus at 1° Cancer 45' is conjoined to Washington’s First Inauguration Jupiter at 1° Cancer 07' which is like icing on the cake. Then, one’s eyes are transfixed at the most startling position in Washington’s Inauguration chart vis-à-vis Trump: Washington’s Inauguration Saturn is at 28° Aquarius 15'. That Saturn squares Trump’s Sun at 28° Taurus 56' and his Moon at 27° Scorpio 13'; it also squares his nodes, his Uranus and closely trines Trump’s Saturn—which should not be construed as a good thing because of the trine. A tight square from Saturn to one of the lights is hard enough. Saturn to both lights, the most important bodies in a horoscope, points to an uphill battle in Sisyphean fashion at best, or it may merely symbolize that an ignorant blowhard discovers the hard way that he is out of his depth. What is more, Washington's First Inauguration Pluto at 27° Capricorn 18' is closely sextile Trump's Moon and trine his Sun This brings up an important point that is at issue in astrology today; namely the so-called good versus bad aspects. According to this doctrine, the nature of the planet involved in relationship with another hardly matters, even if the planets involved are classical malefics. According to the good versus bad idea any connection comprised of trines and sextiles is good and any comprised of squares and oppositions is bad. But as some of the great minds in astrology pointed out decades ago (like Charles Edwin Owen Carter), a trine doesn't contravene the nature of a planet such that sextiles and trines between Mars, Saturn, Neptune and Pluto are rendered into something "good" because of the aspect itself. Pluto trine the Sun doesn't become something helpful in itself because of the trine. It's just not as strong as a conjunction, opposition or square. Therefore Washington's Inauguration Pluto trine and sextile Trump's lights doesn't confer benefit on him because of the trine and sextile; it makes his connection to Washington's Inauguration chart worse. He may demean or abuse the office. This is also suggested by Washington's Inauguration Pluto (27° Capricorn 18') closely square the locality mid-heaven of Trump's natus equated to Washington (27° Aries 12'). That means probably that he will either be rejected or have a hard time working with Congress because one is shut out or made an outcast in locations were one's own Pluto is strong or the Pluto of the organization one represents configures one's own chart. Finally, Washington's First Inauguration Neptune at 29° Virgo 37' is closely square Trump's natal Saturn at 29° Gemini 49'. This really is a bad thing because squares are very strong, this one is very close and between two malefic planets. It means that Trump may be ensnared by the office in the sense that he can't go around, over or through things that have to be handled head on. He will have no excuses or avenues of escape when things don't go well for him. I think that he will find the presidency completely unlike what he expects it to be and that ironically his power will be confounded and limited when in his greatest moment he expects to be able to exercise it in all but unlimited fashion.
More alarming, Trump’s natal horoscope equated to Washington puts his natal Mars much closer to the ascendant there than it is at New York (see figure 5). Mars at his birthplace is almost nineteen minutes of time (not arc) above the ascendant there. At Washington D.C. Mars is less than three minutes of time above the Washington ascendant which is more than six times closer than at New York. It’s not as close as it looks in longitude because Trump’s natal Mars has north declination (+13° 46' 35") which means that it rises before its ecliptic degree in the northern hemisphere. Still, his natal Mars is much too close to the Washington ascendant for comfort. The sidereal time of his natus equated to Washington D.C. is 3h 15m 03s. His natal Mars rises at the White House when 3h 12m 07s of sidereal time is passing through the Washington D.C. mid-heaven. The proximity of his Mars at Washington may very well make him reckless in action on the one hand and place him at risk on the other. The position of Mars in Washington’s Inauguration chart constitutes a further warning. That Mars is at 21° Pisces 44'. The sesquiquadrates and semi-squares to that position are 6° 44' of the fixed signs. Trump’s natal ascendant is 6° Leo 00'. If he steps into the presidency, he invokes that connection, that is, Washington’s First Inauguration Mars makes a tight sesquiquadrate to Trump’s natal ascendant. His Secret Service detail will need to be heavy and he needs to understand that he cannot stray beyond that protective bubble. Barack Obama, and probably most presidents, have chafed inside the bubble that makes them prisoners in a gilded cage. Trump, with Uranus conjoined to his Sun, is even more likely to feel constrained, but he reacts against it at his peril because he arouses very strong irritation, bitterness, anger and enmity. In consideration of that, and living at a location that makes his natal Mars overwhelmingly powerful, compounded by a close 135° aspect from Washington’s First Inauguration Mars, residence in Washington D.C is nothing short of dangerous.
Transiting Saturn will come onto his lights and square Washington’s Inauguration Saturn immediately if he becomes president. He will certainly find the demands of the office extraordinarily difficult and quite unresponsive to his belligerent and ham-handed style. Donald Trump has made a career out of riding rough shod over other people and problems. That won’t work at the highest level of government where it is the last resort, not the first. This is the danger of having such a man at the helm. It’s like trying to do brain surgery with a bulldozer. Worse, there are many people who are only too ready, who will delight in getting even with a bully. What goes around comes around. The issue is that the American people may suffer because of this. Transiting Saturn will conjoin Trump’s natal Moon on January 8, 2017; transiting Saturn will square Washington’s First Inauguration Saturn January 17, 2017; and transiting Saturn will oppose Trump’s natal Sun on January 24, 2017. This likely means that he will be tested quickly and may suffer in health. Saturn moves off his lights but returns when Saturn retrogrades opposite his Sun on June 23, 2017, then Saturn squares Washington’s Inauguration Saturn again on July 3, 2017 and conjoins his Moon on July 19, 2017. Finally all of this starts again after Saturn turns direct in August 2017 with the conjunction of transiting Saturn and his natal Moon on September 30, 2017; transiting Saturn squares the Washington Inauguration Saturn on October 15, and the transiting Saturn opposes his natal Sun on October 24, 2017. All told it looks like a miserable first year and a complete reversal of the 2016 situation. The 2016 solar return has the solar Moon conjoined to Trump’s natal Jupiter. The 2017 solar return has the solar return Saturn (29° Scorpio 34' ) conjoined to Trump’s natal Moon (27° Scorpio 13') and the solar return Moon is in its detriment at 27° Capricorn 23', sesquiquadrate solar return Mars in 11° Gemini 44', which is 39' of arc short of the exact 135°. Because the Moon has so much to do with one’s health and mood, what is happening now—the prevailing condition—having both the solar return Moon and the natal Moon sorely afflicted points to difficulty, depression and poor health in spades. That will likely be his lot in 2017 no matter where he is or what he does.
1. For June 1946 Regulus had R.A. 10h 05m 30s and dec. +12° 13' 56" from the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac for 1946.
2. A sidereal solar return differs from tropical solar returns by the difference between the tropical year (consecutive transits of the Sun over the vernal equinox) which is 365 days, 5h 48m 46s and the sidereal year (consecutive transits of the Sun over the same star) 365 days 6h 09m 10s. The difference, 20 minutes and 24 seconds, means that tropical and sidereal solar returns diverge by more than an hour by age three and by almost an entire day at age 70. For that reason Trump’s tropical solar return takes place on June 13th and his sidereal version is on June 14th in 2016. This election will be a good test of which version has merit.
Tropical returns ignore precession as though the tropical zodiac were fixed in space, but in fact the equinox moves with respect to the stars and fairly fast in astronomical terms because the Earth’s spin axis precesses such that the equinox is pointed at a slightly different part of the sky in a westerly direction every year. The result is that a tropical return brings the Sun to its natal position with respect to tropical reckoning but that is not its natal position with respect to the sky. Another way to illustrate this problem is with the return of Pluto to its natal place in the horoscope of the United States which some people expect in 2022 because Pluto will have the same tropical longitude then that it had in 1776 (27° Capricorn 33') on February 21, 2022. The problem is that Pluto’s orbital period is 247.686 years (or 248.0208 Julian years) which means that Pluto will not reach its 1776 position (5° Capricorn 56') with respect to sidereal reckoning until February 23, 2024. Significantly, the sidereal position corresponds to reality. That is, even though Pluto will conjoin its tropical position in 2022, that position will be short of one complete orbit since the Declaration of Independence by two years! That is why tropical reckoning is not only completely inadequate for era to era comparisons, it also is misleading with regard to solar return positions. By extension this also illustrates why sidereal positions with respect to the exaltations – their original and true positions – cannot be transferred to tropical zodiac reckoning.
3. Local Mean Time was not adopted in the United States until several decades after Washington’s inauguration so all clocks and watches that were accurate would have been set then to the Sun (the moment of local apparent noon). The Local Mean time equivalent of 12:50 p.m. Local Apparent Time was 12:46:55 pm. That’s why the horoscope is set up for what looks like an odd time.
4. The solution of the exaltations, Cyril Fagan’s greatest achievement, refers to sidereal positions for the beginning of the civil year (April 3, 786 B.C. at sunset at Babylon) and the heliacal phenomena for Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn for the remainder of that civil year). The Moon set in mundo with 2° or 3° Taurus (depending on temperature, humidity and the height of eye of an observer), Venus was in 27° Pisces and the Sun was at 19° Aries on that day (April 3, 786 B.C.). The exaltations, indeed all the dignities and debilities, have no relevance in terms of tropical reckoning. They are and have always been sidereal phenomena. This is explained in Appendix III of my book, An Introduction to Western Sidereal Astrology.
© Kenneth Bowser
June 14, 1946
10:54 a.m. EDT
Jamaica, New York
Trump's Solar Return, 2016
Trump's Quarter Solar Return
Washington's First Inauguration
April 30, 1789
12:50 LAT (12:46:55 LMT)
Federal Hall, Lower Manhattan, New York 40°N42' 74°W00'
Trump at the White house
June 14, 1946
10:54 a.m. EDT
38°N53' 50" 77°W02' 13"
Trump at the White House